Former UConn Torrington campus now home to major arts center
After 15 months of renovations, the Five Points Center for the Visual Arts in Torrington will open its doors to the public this weekend. The former University of Connecticut branch campus is being transformed into a cutting-edge facility for artists of all disciplines.
Five Points Arts acquired the 30,000-square-foot facility in June 2020 with the hopes of creating a world-class arts center, where visual artists of all levels and disciplines could practice their craft. Now thanks to a combination of donations, grants and a $2.7 million infusion of state funding, the facility is up and running.
“The goal is to have all the equipment that we need, and the artists need to make art for the 22nd century,” said Judith McElhone, executive director of Five Points Arts. “Artists often make work these days that are cross-disciplinary. Painters may incorporate sculpture or photography in their work. Our facility will allow for that.”
McElhone says Five Points has been busy since June of last year, transforming classrooms and the library of the former UConn campus into art laboratories.
“So the library, which is a gorgeous room, has been turned into the most amazing printmaking studio,” McElhone said. “Everyone who comes in, I wait ’til they get like 3 feet in, and it’s always, on the dot they say, ‘Wow.’ So that was one of the big transformations. Everything came out of the library. We replaced the ceiling, volunteers built the cabinets and acid room.”
Along with the printmaking lab, Five Points has completed the drawing, painting and digital labs, with more expected to come online this year. The auditorium will present artist lectures, documentaries and community-related events.
Five Points Center for the Visual Arts will hold an opening celebration Saturday evening from 6 to 8. Proceeds from the event will benefit the arts center’s educational programs.